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Leading By Example
Congratulations to Jennifer Rohloff, Shorewest REALTORS and Michael Fitzpatrick, Realty Executives Integrity. They are the winners of the "Leading By Example" promotion. Jennifer and Michael were selected at random from the published entries.

Jennifer Rohloff of Shorewest  (West Bend office)  (Submitted by Michael Fitzpatrick, Sales Executive Realty Executives Integrity  as a positive ethical agent in the GMAR area. Jennifer displayed superior ethics as a listing agent for her listed property in Hartford this past summer. I brought my buyers to the house and we ended up submitting an offer. While there were multiple offers, Jennifer was very communicative of the process and ultimately the sellers chose my buyers offer. Once the offer was accepted, Jennifer clearly explained that the offer would be handled through a relocation company. With that, there were of course multiple hurdles to get over and as a new agent with my first deal, I needed Jennifer to be as helpful as she could. As we went through the hurdles, Jennifer was always there making sure everything was easy to understand and done correctly! It would be a pleasure to do a deal with Jennifer in the future because she is very easy to get a hold of, professional, and she treats her job and others to the highest degree. Once we got to the closing table, I told Jennifer I was a new agent and was surprised to find out that she didn’t even know I was new!

Thanks to all of you who submitted your positive stories about work ing with an agent with another company. Jennifer and Michael will each receive a $100 Bartolotta’s Restaurant gift card, compliments of Milwaukee Homesight.
Misleading Use of "MLS in URL
NAR Case Interpretation #12-20: Misleading Use of “MLS” in URL
REALTOR® A, a residential broker in a major metropolitan city, spent several weeks each year in his cabin in the north woods where he planned to retire one day. Even while at home in the city, REALTOR® A stayed abreast of local news, events, and especially the local real estate market by subscribing to the online editions of the local newspaper. He also bookmarked a number of north woods brokers’ websites to stay current with the market and to watch for potential investment opportunities.

One evening while on the Internet, he came across a site he was unfamiliar with— . REALTOR® A was pleased to see the MLS serving the area where he vacationed for so many years had created a publicly-accessible website. Clicking on the link, he was surprised to find that the website he was connected with was not an MLS’s website, but instead was REALTOR® Z’s company website. Having had prior dealings with REALTOR® Z, REALTOR® A spent some time carefully scrutinizing the website. He noted, among other things, that the name of REALTOR® Z’s firm did not include the letters MLS.

REALTOR® A sent an e-mail to the association’s Professional Standards Administrator asking whether REALTOR® Z had been authorized by the association to use the URL  and whether the association felt it presented a true picture as required by Article 12 of the Code of Ethics. The Professional Standards Administrator responded that their association did not assign, review, or approve URLs used by their members, but added that if REALTOR® A felt a possible violation of the Code of Ethics had occurred, the appropriate step was to file an ethics complaint. REALTOR® A did just that, alleging in his complaint that when he clicked on what appeared to be a real estate-related URL that included the letters “MLS” he expected to be connected with a website operated by a multiple listing service. He stated he felt that REALTOR® Z’s URL was deceptive and did not meet Article 12’s true picture test.

At the hearing, REALTOR® Z defended his URL on a number of grounds including the fact that he was a participant in good standing in the MLS and that he was authorized under the MLS’s rules to display other participants’ listings on his website. “If I used ‘MLS’ in the name of my firm, I could see how that might be perceived as something less than a true picture,” he argued, “but by simply using MLS in my URL I am telling consumers that they can get MLS-provided information about properties in the north woods from me. What could be truer than that?”

The hearing panel disagreed with REALTOR® Z’s reasoning. While REALTOR® Z’s website included information about other participants’ listings that the MLS had provided—and that REALTOR® Z was authorized to display—the fact remained that a real estate-related URL that includes the letters MLS will, in many cases, lead reasonable consumers to conclude that the website is an MLS’s, and not a broker’s website. That was the case with REALTOR® Z’s URL and REALTOR® Z was found in violation of Article 12 as interpreted by Standard of Practice 12-10.
NAR Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) Program is Raising the Bar for REALTOR ® Professionalism
The National Association of REALTORS ® proudly introduces Commitment to Excellence, a cutting-edge program that empowers REALTORS ® to evaluate, enhance, and showcase the highest levels of professionalism. As members, you can get started today by logging into the page below and taking the self-assessment that measures your proficiency in each of the elements of professionalism, known as the C2EX Competencies. Based on your results, the platform will generate customized learning paths, recommend experiences, and provide tools and resources to increase your knowledge and enhance your skill-sets. We encourage you to check out the C2EX program, and pass it along to others in your office and our industry who would benefit from the assessment.
We hope you enjoyed Issue #3 of Ethics Exchange 2020 brought to you by the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS ® (GMAR). The GMAR created this newsletter, each issue dedicated to a unique issue, because the REALTOR ® Code of Ethics, on which our industry is built, is the foundation of what it means to be a REALTOR ® .
Your proactive support of the Code of Ethics will assure your fellow REALTORS ® , as well as members of the public, that every member of GMAR operates under the highest ethical standards.
Questions, comments or concerns regarding this issue can be directed to
Scott Bush at the GMAR Office (414-778-4929 or